Thursday, July 25, 2024

Plan submitted for expanded aviation heritage museum

A new museum could champion the pivotal role of RAF College Cranwell and the history and importance of aviation in North Kesteven and the county, if approved.

A new planning application details an expanded aviation museum with a café and educational space, which if given the go ahead would be developed by North Kesteven District Council to replace its current Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum near North Rauceby.

The application if approved would see the creation of the new museum through changing the use of an existing farm building which sits adjacent onsite.

Previously the Carlight factory and currently an industrial unit, this farm building would be reimagined into a cutting-edge tourism and heritage destination marking the advances in aviation history made at RAF College Cranwell and by its servicemen and women past and present, while further cementing North Kesteven’s aviation heritage in the heart of Lincolnshire.

The building’s total footprint would be 6,700 sq ft, up from the current museum which measures around 1,800 sq ft. In addition to bigger and improved exhibition spaces, the bespoke café and learning and conference facilities, there would also be dedicated retail space and car parking under the plan. These expanded facilities could help create additional jobs and volunteer roles.

An outdoor children’s play area would also be added, along with a new access road off Main Street which will help make the museum more visible from the A17 with submission of this signage to follow at a later date.

The new museum would incorporate use of green energy too and electric vehicle charging points, with the Council’s aim in mind for the District to be carbon neutral by 2030.

North Kesteven District Council leader councillor Richard Wright said: “The planning application if approved would see a much larger space made available to display aviation heritage in North Kesteven.

“The next steps will follow the usual planning application process that includes seeking views from various statutory and local consultees. Should the application need to be put forward for consideration by Planning Committee then I look forward to viewing it in more detail as a committee member.”

Delivery of it would be subject to securing funding opportunities. If the planning application submitted is approved, it would become an ‘oven ready’ project to be implemented when all funding is in place and a contractor secured through procurement for the works. When complete all current exhibits would be moved over from the current museum building and this then handed back to the owner.

As part of the project there would also be volunteer opportunities and chance to help shape the implementation of the new museum if approved.

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